Health

Don’t Let the Reds and Greens Make You ‘Blue’

The holiday season should be a time of joy. For many people, it is not. They experience feelings of loneliness and anxiety.

Furthermore, stress, fatigue, unrealistic expectations, financial constraints, and the inability to be with loved ones and family can cause the “holiday blues.”

“While many get into the holiday spirit with family parties and gift exchanges, others don’t have the time, energy or resources to create the ‘perfect holiday,’” said Nick Macchione, Director of the County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA). “For some people, the holiday season can be one of the most difficult times of the year. Helping people to deal with their mental health challenges is one of the goals of the County’s Live Well, San Diego! initiative.”

This sadness, depression and anxiety can be prevented, and HHSA is offering some tips on how to help keep the blues away:

  • Get a good night’s sleep. Sleep at least eight hours.
  • Set realistic goals and expectations.
  • Establish a spending limit and stick to it.
  • Limit consumption of alcoholic beverages.
  • Get involved with others and spend time with people who are supportive and caring.
  • Look for opportunities to express kindness by volunteering at a shelter or nursing home or give a smile to the person who walks past you.
  • Exercise regularly and laugh often; laughing is a great aerobic exercise.

It is also important to stay aware of how severe your depressed feelings are and how long they last.

“If the sadness and anxiety last for a long time or if the person has trouble functioning in his personal or work life, it might be a sign of a more serious illness,” said Alfredo Aguirre, Director of County Mental Health Services. “If the depression is so severe that the person is thinking about ending his life, it’s time to seek psychiatric help.”

People suffering from a mental health challenge, should call the County’s Access and Crisis Line at (800) 479-3339. Tips and resources are also available at Up2SD.org.